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cowgirlnay 06-21-2013 12:39 PM

Contemplating going for PATH certification...
Hey all,
So I graduated in 2010 with a Bachelors degree in Animal Science, with big dreams of getting into an animal/equine industry as a career. My thoughts were possibly an animal pharmaceutical company, or a barn manager, orrr something else. I honestly did not really think through what my future plans were, I just knew I want to major in Animal Science because I could think of nothing else that made more sense, and knew I wanted a future career in this field! I am horse crazy, and have grown up around horses and been riding since I was very young. Ideally, I do want a career with horses, but it is hard to determine what I could actually do and not make minimum wage. (I found out that a lot of places want you to have a certain number of years of experience, but no one is willing to give you that experience!)

In the mean time, I am working at my family's trucking company, and just showing my horse on the side to get my "horse fix." I know this is not my ideal career, and I start to panic a little when I think about getting stuck working here forever.

Anyways, I have recently begun thinking about getting my PATH certification and becoming an instructor. I volunteered a little bit at a therapeutic riding center in high school, and found it very rewarding. My first step obviously, is to sign up again as a volunteer, and do that for a little while to determine this is in fact what I want to do. After that, I would begin working towards certification. We have an AMAZING therapeutic riding center here in Yakima - it is the only PATH certified one in Central Washington I believe.

One of my questions is - I work 40 hours a week right now, and realistically cannot afford to not work full time or close to full time while getting my certifications.
I saw that a lot of it is online courses - is this something I could do after work and still work full time? I'm just not sure how much time/studying is involved while taking the online courses.

Any other advice as to how to go about this, and figuring out if it is right for me, would be appreciated!

Amlalriiee 08-20-2013 10:36 AM

I have completed the process up until the workshop/certification (which is this week for me!) and work 50+ hours every week. It was easy doing the online "courses"--they are really just tests you can print off and find the answers to and then go back in and enter them. You are required to score pretty high, but since it's open book, that's easy. The hard part for me was that there were no PATH certified instructors that would agree to mentor me...well, eventually I found one, but it took a long time to find her and her facility was a 4 hour drive each way for me. This made the mentoring process EXTREMELY difficult especially since I work Mon-Sat and nobody teaches lessons on Sundays. I managed to get it done by taking a TON of days off from my Saturday job. As long as you can find a mentor within a reasonable distance or can take one day Mon-Sat to travel and get the hours in, you'll be fine. Plan ahead of time though, and start looking for mentors that fit your plan now! Good luck!

cowgirlnay 08-28-2013 01:34 PM

Thank you, that's really reassuring since I work full time too! I just don't really know where to start - do I just apply to be a PATH member, and then start on the online courses? Is there a book I need to purchase or anything, or will I find everything I need to know in the online courses? Do you know how much the certification process cost you? I can't seem to find $ figures anywhere...

cowgirlnay 08-28-2013 01:35 PM

I do have a great facility right here close to me, and I'm sure one of the instructors there will mentor me, since my plan is to work for them once I've completed it! So at least I have that part figured out!

cowgirlnay 08-28-2013 01:48 PM

Amlalriiee - How long has it taken you to complete the process up to the point of the workshop with working full time?

DriftingShadow 09-02-2013 01:04 AM

I also did online courses! I received my first level certification last May! I am hoping to soon begin application for the advanced certification!

Online helped me out a lot since I was a full time college student. I volunteered at the center by my college, and was able to become a working student for them. I then was mentored by the woman in charge of the facility and completed my teaching hours under her guidance.

Best of luck OP! You will do great!

egrogan 09-03-2013 04:17 PM

Just saw your thread. I also work full time and am pursuing this more as a passion/hobby on the side. I've given myself the full year to complete the process. The most time consuming part for me is getting enough supervised hours with group lessons. The barn I'm working with does almost exclusively private lessons, so group lessons (on the weekends, when I'm available to teach) just aren't that common.

Good luck!

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